Systematic Analysis of Sex-Linked Molecular Alterations and Therapies in Cancer.

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Though patient sex influences response to cancer treatments, little is known of the molecular causes, and cancer therapies are generally given irrespective of patient sex. We assessed transcriptomic differences in tumors from men and women spanning 17 cancer types, and we assessed differential expression between tumor and normal samples stratified by sex across 7 cancers. We used the LincsCloud platform to perform Connectivity Map analyses to link transcriptomic signatures identified in male and female tumors with chemical and genetic perturbagens, and we performed permutation testing to identify perturbagens that showed significantly differential connectivity with male and female tumors. Our analyses predicted that females are sensitive and males are resistant to tamoxifen treatment of lung adenocarcinoma, a finding which is consistent with known male-female differences in lung cancer. We made several novel predictions, including that CDK1 and PTPN1 knockdown would be more effective in males with hepatocellular carcinoma, and SMAD3 and HSPA4 knockdown would be more effective in females with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Our results provide a new resource for researchers studying male-female biological and treatment response differences in human cancer. The complete results of our analyses are provided at the website accompanying this manuscript (
Last updated on 09/11/2016